Who Will Ride What? 17 May 2004
After riding Hondas and Ducatis at past TTs, Morecambe's John McGuinness is to
ride Yamahas in the main races this year. With Paul Bird preferring to
concentrate his efforts on the British Superbike Championship, John has signed
up with Yamaha UK to run one of the new R1s for Inside Line in the Formula One
and Senior. However, he will retain allegiance to Honda in the Junior and
Lightweight, the latter class of which he won last year. John has three TT wins so far and a fastest lap of 125.91mph set on the
Monstermob Ducati on his way to second place at 123.93mph in last year's Senior.
McGuinness was in fine form at the North West 200. He won the 400cc event on the
RLR Motorsport Honda and the second 600cc race on the Inside Line R6 Yamaha. The
TAS Suzuki team had a mixed day, with severe lack of practice causing a few
machine maladies for Adrian
Archibald. Team-mate Bruce Anstey fared better
and won the first 600cc and the Production Race. He was eliminated from the main
Superbike Race after a crash on the final lap of the second 600cc event,
suffering a bump on the head, but which was not described as a serious injury.
Former TT star Michael Rutter won both main races and went through the speed
trap at 201.1mph on the HM Plant Honda Britain Fireblade! The day's other winner
was Ian Lougher, who
romped the 125cc on the Lloyds Offshore Mannin Collections Honda. Chief TT rival
Chris Palmer was out of
luck, retiring very early.
Dave Molyneux's new Honda-powered sidecar outfit looks set to turn plenty of
heads. Those privileged to have seen it report a markedly different conception
and have already christened it the Stealth. It was on display at Aintree
recently, along with Mark Johns Motors' new Honda Fireblade to be ridden by Ian Lougher, who has,
incidentally, split with long-standing sponsors the Manton Group. He now enjoys
backing from C&J Racing.
Donegal rider Seamus Greene returns to the TT
Course aboard a GSXR 1000cc Suzuki and a CBR 600cc Honda mainly
concentrating on the Production events. This will enable him to also continue in
the Manx Grand Prix, where he won
the 2000 Newcomers and finished fifth in the same year's Junior. At the TT he will ride for Isle of Man-based DSC Racing, run by
former solo competitor Glyn Jones, who himself
campaigns a Yamaha-powered Molyneux sidecar. After the TT,
Glyn intends contesting the European Championship.
Popular Japanese rider 36-year-old Jun Maeda will be back for
the TT, equipped as before with high specification Hondas.
With a best lap of 114.98mph he's no slouch and has been making steady if
unspectacular progress since his debut in 2002. He has 600 CBRs for the Junior
and smaller production events; 1000 CBRs for the Formula One, the Senior and the
bigger Production race. His entrants are F. Asada and K. Yamada.
Kawasaki ZX6R is the choice of French woman Fabrice Miguet as she makes
her debut at the TT. Looking to qualify and finish, she has rides in the
Production 600 and Junior races, having a French endurance racing background,
including finishing 27th out of 100 in a recent event.
Saintfield's Davy Morgan
continues to improve on the Mountain Course. He finished runner-up in the 2002
600cc Manx Grand Prix and 11th in
last year's 600cc Production race. He has John Bell's Villager R6 Yamaha for
this year's 600cc Production race, and 750 Suzukis for the 1000cc Production
class and Senior, backed by Investasure Financial Services. There is separate
prize gold for 750s in the 1000cc Production class, so being down on cubes
should not unduly deter him. Shaun Harris was a previous
Another rider bringing MV Agustas to the TT this time is Thomas Montano from
Berkeley, California. He will run Munroe Motors fours in the Formula One, Senior
and Production 1000, alongside Yamahas backed by Taj Ma Hal in the Lightweight,
600 Production and Junior.
Steve Norbury from Castleford, West Yorkshire, is another TT stalwart back for
another go. He has Lockside Engineering's R6-engined Shelbourne Yamaha and will
surely at least equal his previous best places, if not snatch a win. His
passenger will be Scott Parnell from Holbeach, Lincolnshire, whose house is
appropriately called Cronk-y-Voddy!
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